Midweek Stroll: Treasure Hunting After A Storm

Cabarita Beach, NSW

This past weekend, my family and I left Brisbane in the rear view window and headed to “our” beach, Cabarita.  All this month, storms battered the dunes and stirred up the reefs just offshore.  It’s an interesting process that destroys part of the ecosystem, but also can free up resources for other species to thrive which enhances the biodiversity of the reef in the long term.

February kicked off with cyclonic storm winds (cyclone= hurricane that rotates clockwise) and has been mostly rainy and stormy ever since.  Bad luck for some misplaced reef life, but it makes for very interesting beachcombing.

Cabarita Beach Combing

We spent a soft late afternoon at Cabarita…

…building sandcastles, swimming, and seeking hidden treasure.

During high storms, the wind and tidal surge push the waves over the rocks, leaving all manner of interesting flotsam and jetsam behind.

Cabarita Beach, NSW

We found a wide range of sponges and corals, ripped from the seafloor.  I spent a long time looking at this hard sponge, and now I wish I’d brought it home with me!

We also found some of the nicest shells I’ve ever seen in nature!

Cabarita was crawling with surfers of all ages, too.

the shelled animals in this photo are the same size as the tiny one in the shell gallery above...

the shelled animals in this photo are the same size as the tiny one in the shell gallery above…

Cabarita Beach, NSW

We went to Stephen’s parents home for the night, feasted on Vietnamese food, slept late and then spent the next afternoon doing it all over again.  It didn’t get boring, in fact we all became rather like Gollum over our shell finds.   We’d been a little edgy all week, and it was nice to be out together with no worries.

Our Haul

And check out our haul!  I love the barnacles, to me they look like sea dragon molars. I’ll probably put these on the table in  a bowl, maybe the larger ones will go on our “interesting dead things” shelf.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a weekend?  The thing you wish you could do every weekend, but only manage every so often? Do you ever go “treasure hunting” for shells, rocks, plants or wildlife sightings?


20 comments

  1. Beautiful, gorgeous photos. I love seeing pictures of places like this. It makes me wish I lived nearby. My two favorite things to do on weekends? spend time with family (whether at festivals, art shows, beach, whatever) and sewing. I do love the beach though and I wish I could be there more often. I’m trying to find ways to work from home so that I can make that a reality. I’m going to have to go “treasure hunting” ~ sounds like fun!

    • Thanks! I’m trying to learn to be a better photographer, I figure if I can take nature photos I can take sewing ones, right? :) I think those two things you mentioned are my faves, too. And yes! Treasure hunting is fun, whatever you’re looking for…

  2. Beautiful photos!! How lovely to treasure hunt as a family and to enjoy the beach at the same time. Seems like a perfect weekend to me. I guess I love doing similar activities and a walk along the beach at Main Beach is something I try to do as much as I can. Then coffee with friends, followed by embroidery and a couple of good DVD’s.

  3. Your photos make me want even more to go to Australia. It’s a dream of mine to go there sometime. Just like Sweden, the country seems so varied. LOVELY!!!

    Right now I spend my weekends waiting for the snow to melt and the spring to come. Although last weekend, I met up with my two sisters to have a sister-weekend, no husbands or children allowed. Very nice!

    • I want to go to Sweden sometime! It’s at the top of my list of places I want to see. :)
      Ooooh! Sister weekend sounds great! My sisters live far away but I do that sometimes with girlfriends. It’s always so nice to step outside that mommy/wife role for a little while, isn’t it?

  4. Your shell finds are lovely! I’ve always lived close enough to the beach that I’d usually make it down at least once a year, and I always did like looking for shells along the shoreline. But due to the area, it’s mostly clams, mussels, seaweed and horseshoe crabs. :) (I did find a fairly intact whelk shell once– I still have it.)

    My favorite weekend activities are spending time with friends/family and sewing! Though lately it’s mostly been wedding-related chores and errands.

    • Oooh sounds cool! I’ve never seen horseshoe crabs out on the beach before. I wish I lived closer to the beach! Cabarita is about an hour and a half away from where we live in the Bane… :)

  5. I particularly like the photo of the occupied shells in the little estuary or tide pool. Really makes me miss living by the beach (in N. California). There are beaches in and near the city I live in now (New York), but they are all “maintained” sandy beaches and it’s rare to see an intact shell at all. There’s something very grounding about wandering the beach. Sounds like you have a couple of lovely days!

    • Thanks. I sat for quite some time staring into one of those pools, as I sat there still and quiet I realized that the entire tide pool was alive with all these tiny shelled animals. Some were sort of spinning like gears, some were randomly creeping about, but it was a constant motion of little shelled creatures.

      Those beaches sound.. dreadful… I hesitate to say because I haven’t been there and don’t want to ruffle any feathers… And do you have to pay to go to the beach? I thought I heard something recently about that in the hurricane Sandy coverage…

      Grounding indeed. I don’t know what it is. The constant white noise of the surf? The breeze? Being completely immersed in a sensory overload of natural beauty? I never sleep so well as the night after being at the beach.

      • No feathers ruffled at all : ) It’s just a different experience, more about people watching–and for that purpose, it’s quite interesting. I could write pages. The city beaches are free except for the subway fare to get there. (I’m not sure about the state beaches farther afield, there might be a fee at some of them & as you mentioned, there seems to have been quite a lot of damage.)

        Anyway, I feel relaxed just reading your description of that tide pool!

  6. Still envious of your lovely beach. I find the sea so very good for the soul. My little ones are real beach babies too given half the chance. We don’t live near a beach but love going to our local wildlife reserve at the weekend for a walk and a Gruffalo hunt in the woods.

  7. What a lovely weekend at the beach! Thanks for sharing. I have a young baby, so my ideal weekend right now is time for lots of sleep and a bit of crafting. :) I hope one day to take my daughter for a day of exploring at the beach.

    • I get that! We didn’t take Lila out as much when she was little, it’s only this summer she stopped being fearful of the ocean… We’ve been taking her as often as we can, my husband and I were both raised in the country and we hate the thought of our daughter not having some kind of tie to the natural world. So we take her out into it as often as we can. It definitely helps that her grandparents have their farmhouse in the country….

  8. Beautiful photos! I too find a great release when digging through sand and rocks and just being with the sea. I love the micro-worlds of shells, too. So much imagination in such a small thing. Wish I weren’t so land locked most of the time…

  9. Pingback: Finished Object: Crinkle Linen Pavlova « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World


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